Benjamín "Benji" Franklin LeBarón Ray (October 4, 1976 – July 7, 2009) was an anti-crime activist and community leader in a Colonia LeBarón community, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico, who had founded the advocacy group SOS Chihuahua (Sociedad Organizada Segura or Secure Organized Society). LeBarón, a citizen of both Mexico and the United States, was murdered, along with his brother-in-law, Luis Carlos "Wiso" Widmar Stubbs, aged 29, on 7 July 2009, by a group of assailants.
|Born||Benjamín Franklin LeBarón Ray|
October 4, 1976
|Died||July 7, 2009(aged 32)|
|Cause of death||Killed by drug cartel members during the 2009 Mexican drug war|
|Known For||Founder of the Sociedad Organizada Segura and Anti-crime activism.|
|Residence||Colonia LeBarón, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico|
|Occupation||Pecan farming and trade between Mexico and the US|
|Relatives||Brother-in-law of fellow murder victim Luis Widmar|
After LeBarón's death, the movement has operated without a single figurehead. Mexico has strict gun control laws but began to train and supervise armed citizen's patrols among the Chihuahua religious enclaves. This would be an extension of an existing program that trains members of remote Mexican indigenous tribes to man such patrols. SOS Chihuahua's media contact, Karyn Longhurst of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, said the group desires rapid response to kidnappings (presently the police must await a police report's being filed), the forfeiture of the assets of convicted kidnappers, mechanisms for reparations to victims, tightening of judicial and sentencing loopholes used by those suspected or convicted of kidnapping, increased prosecutions and punishments for those aiding and abetting kidnapping, including through official corruption.
Benjamin was killed on July 7, 2009 by a local drug cartel. Benjamin was captured and beaten by the cartel, which included 10 men, all armed, in front of his family. They terrorized the wife and children and took him outside. When one of his brothers-in-law, Luis Widmar, heard the commotion, he ran to help Benjamin. They were both taken by the cartel and were later found beaten and shot to death outside of town.
- Malkin, Elisabeth. "In Mexico, the Violence Continues". The NY Times. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Malkin, Elisabeth (25 July 2009). "Fear and Death in a Mormon Town in Mexico". The New York Times. Colonia Lebarón, Mexico. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Taylor, Scott (1 July 2009). "Mexicans to rally for tougher laws in wake of kidnappings". Deseret News. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Althaus, Dudley (10 July 2009). "Defying Mexican gangs costs Mormons their lives". Houston Chonicle. COLONIA LeBARON, Mexico. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Booth, William (23 July 2009). "Drug Cartels Target Mormon Clans in Mexico". The Washington Post. Colonia LeBaron, Mexico. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- "Mexican Feds Probe Slaying of Anti-Kidnapping Activist". Latin American Herald Tribune. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Ellingwood, Ken (9 July 2009). "Protest leader, relative shot to death in Mexico". Los Angeles Times. Mexico City, Mexico. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Adams, Brooke (8 July 2009). "Two with polygamous roots gunned down in Mexico". Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Booth, William (24 July 2009). "Mexico's drug war engulfs breakaway sect of Mormon Church". The Seattle Times Company. Colonia LeBaron, Mexico. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Langton, Jerry (2011). Gangland: The Rise of the Mexican Drug Cartels from El Paso to Vancouver. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1118014271. Retrieved 11 February 2014.